Friday, January 29, 2010

Climate Change Hypocrisy

And now, for something completely different.....hypocritical delegates to the Copenhagen climate change conference take their luxury chauffeur driven limousines from the airport.  The free bus stands empty.  (Come on, you don't expect them to preach to us and then have to rub elbows with us too, do you?)



And, if that wasn't enough to get you aggravated, it was reported  today that Nancy Pelosi billed the taxpayers $101,000 for her "food, booze" on the plane for her commute to Copenhagen.  According to World Net Daily, the menu included:  Maker's Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey's Irish Crème, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey … and Corona beer.
But that single receipt makes up just part of the more than $101,000 taxpayers paid for "in-flight services" – including food and liquor, for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trips on Air Force jets over the last two years. That's almost $1,000 per week.

Well, I guess we can take comfort in the fact that she was only going to Europe.  Imagine what it would have cost us if she was going to Japan!

To Kick off Your Weekend: Father Stan

I once heard Father Benedict Groeschel say that people sometimes confused him with Fr. Andrew Apostoli, but never Fr. Stan Fortuna. Here's why:

Men and the WWW.LINKTOHELL.TRAP


     The other day, to my shock and disappointment, I read a news report implicating a Catholic priest as involved with child pornography.
     After overcoming nausea, and after briefly weeping for the Church being dragged through a cesspool once again, I sat and prayed and thought about how this could be happening again. I then trembled at this thought: How many men are waist deep in the excrement of immoral human sexual degradation we colloquially call, pornography?  This disturbing question then led me to the following tirade.
(FYI: tirade |ˈtīˌrād; ˌtīˈrād|  noun:  a long, angry speech of criticism or accusation.)
Listen up, all of you men! 
Let's make this simple, guys.  If you are playing with pornography, you are in mortal danger of losing your humanity and your immortal soul.  No, I am not exaggerating.
     Married men, single men, old men, young men: Wake Up!
     If you are involved with pornography then you are directly aiding Satan and the demons who are eternally committed to destroying the soul of every human being -- especially, and beginning with, the purest, the most innocent, and the most trusting.
     Don't you get it?  If you are involved with pornography, you are pimping for the demons, helping to enslave human beings by your turning them into "things" -- sex things, non-human, with none of the God given dignity all human beings possess.  Every time you stare at pornographic images, you share the demons' communion as they rage against the noblest of God's creations: human beings. You are traitors!
     And all you men indulging in INTERNET pornography:  How stupid can you be?  You do realize, don't you, that the devil has found a goldmine of human degradation on the internet?  And YOU are helping him dig that mine! 
     Satan, the father of lies, has refined a subtle process within internet pornography.  You think that because you're indulging in impurity via the world wide web, that no one will be the wiser -- no one will ever know.  Well, you fools, keep deluding yourselves while you are slowly stripped of your humanity.  You are an accomplice to your sworn enemies as you and they sexually degrade your own! You are traitors to your fellow human beings!

     
And what is Satan's subtle process within internet pornography?  Simple -- diabolically simple:  Every time you search out a porno website, so pleased with yourself about your filthy little indulgence,  you are the pitiful loser!  Every explicit display you see is really your agreeing to wade down a little deeper into a putrid toilet, the stench of which you may never be able to wash off -- in this life or the next!
     Don't ever forget what Our Lord Jesus warned us about: "... whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.  But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea." (Matthew 18:5-6) "Woe to you, ... you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of ... everything unclean." (Matthew 23:27)
"I will bring upon you everlasting disgrace -- everlasting shame that will not be forgotten." (Jeremiah 23:40)
He is not kidding. 
     So, snap out of it!  Get to Confession
NOW.  Get help if you can't stop yourself. Do not let your enemies use you to destroy your own and destroy you, too!

End of tirade ... this one, anyway ... for now.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Congressman Smith - Prayer and Fasting

Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) is a stalwart of the pro-life movement.  In an interview with CNS News, Smith described  President Obama as "obssessed" with abortion and as someone who has "litmus tested all of the 'government gatekeepers' on abortion."  According to the Congressman, while Clinton was bad on abortion, Obama is the worst yet.

The ammunition to fight this scourge?  According to Congressman Smith:

“With indomitable trust in God, we today recommit and reiterate our resolve to pray, fast and work to protect and enfranchise all, regardless of age, race, sex, disability, wantedness or condition of dependency.”

 Thank God for Congressman Smith and the other pro-life politicians.  Thanks for the reminder about prayer and fasting.  May St. Thomas More always intercede for these good men and women.

Hello Again, Academicians! And Thanks, Marilyn!


My apologies that chronic health problems kept you safe from grueling homework assignments.  All that's over, for a while.  It's nice to be back.

I want to thank and commend my fellow Faculty member and Dean of the Academy's Law School, Marilyn Heller, for taking up the slack here on the Blog during my wanton truancy.

She has written many fine posts!  Thank you, Marilyn!
Father James J.M. Reynolds, STL
The Assistant Headmaster

Whoa! It Just Occurred To Me: Politicians Complicit in the Death of Unborn Children And The Aging And Disabled!

     I know that I am the master of the obvious in many areas, and that I have my moments when I ramble on about things that everybody already knows. Sorry; it's a bad habit. And, sorry: but here I go again.
     Because this cyber-activity (blog) has been established upon the imagery of a virtual Catholic academy, dear Jedi academicians, please open your virtual dictionaries and examine the meaning of the following:
politics |ˈpäləˌtiks|  plural noun [usually treated as singular];
1. The activities  associated with the governance of a country  or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individual or parties having or hoping to achieve power;
2. The activities within an organization that are aimed at improving someone's status or position and are typically considered to be devious or divisive;
3. A particular set of beliefs, principles and assumptions relating to or inherent in a theory, especially when concerned with power and status in a society.
     I have no doubt that this post will raise the hackles of anyone who claims the title of: 

politician |ˌpäləˈti sh ən| noun;
1. A person who is professionally involved in politics, especially as a holder of or a candidate for an elected office.

2. A person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization.
     I won't ask any of you to pardon me as I now become politically incorrect. (Just like the rambling, I think my political incorrectness is another habit.) 
     You're no doubt familiar with the expression, "Guns don't kill people, people do."  
My conscience, intellect and gut need to express a similar statement: 

Politics
does not cause the abortion of babies and the murder of the weak, disabled or infirm: politicians
do.

     Mikhail Gorbachev said, "What is the difference between a statesman and a politician? ... A statesman does what he believes is best for his country, a politician does what best gets him reelected."  Harry S. Truman said, "A politician is (someone) who understands government. A statesman is a politician who's been dead for 15 years." (So sorry, Ted! Hey, but it's only another 14 years.)
     Statesmen do not silently participate in any political process that enables the murdering of innocent children, the infirm elderly, or the disabled.   A statesman doesn't turn a blind eye to unjust legislation merely because he may not be re-elected if he stands on principle.
     Like, duh! I know you already know this. Sorry.  It must be an addiction -- just like the addiction so many of us have to the Truth.  



Your Politically Incorrect Assistant Headmaster

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vegetarian Humans May Emit More Carbon than Cows!

This column from the TreeHugger.com website gave me a chuckle..."Will Vegetarian Humans One Day Emit More Carbon Dioxide & Methane than Cows?"  (thanks to NRO Online for the link)  It just once more proves my hypothesis that whenever we try to solve a problem without thinking through the consequences, we wind up with a bigger problem.  And when you get government involved in the problem solving, you get a much bigger problem.  So, to all of our veggie loving friends...have a burger!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pope Wants Priests to Blog

We here at the Academy are happy to report that the holy father, Pope Benedict XVI, is asking priests to get involved in modern communications, including blogging.  In his message for the 44th World Day of Communications, the pope said that :
The spread of multimedia communications and its rich "menu of
options" might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on
the Web, or to see it only as a space to be filled. Yet priests can
rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital
communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their
proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express
themselves with the different "voices" provided by the digital
marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by
employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images,
videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside
traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue,
evangelization and catechesis.
 The Catholic Jedi Academy is proud to have Father Reynolds, blogging priest, among its "faculty." 

Tim Tebow - Pro Life Super Bowl Ad


A pro life ad sponsored by Focus on the Family is going to be shown during the Super Bowl.  The ad features Tim Tebow the Heisman trophy winner whose mother gave birth to him despite doctors' advice that she undergo an abortion.

According to LifeNews.com , Pam Tebow and her husband were Christian missionaries in the Philippines when she became pregnant with "Timmy."  During the pregnancy she contracted amoebic dysentery and went into a coma.  Doctors told her that the strong medications used to treat her had damaged her baby and that she should undergo an abortion.  Mrs. Tebow refused the abortion and told the doctors that her Christian faith would sustain her.  She gave birth to a healthy baby in August of 1987.

Of course, the usual suspects are screeching over this ad.  It makes you shake your head in wonder.  What, in heaven's name, do they find objectionable in an ad that tells this beautiful story and promotes the sanctity of human life?  It is an irony that the same people who parrot the phrase that they want abortion to be "safe, legal and rare", almost never go along with any movement to reduce the numbers of abortion.  Not sure how abortion will become "rare" unless we're able to get out the pro life message.

 

Ellie Light - Mystery Woman

There has been a strange string of letters to the editor appearing in papers around the nation, claiming to be written by someone named "Ellie Light."  The letter is in support of President Obama.  While the text of the letter is identical in every newspaper, the hometown of "Ellie Light" changes depending upon the location of the paper in which it is published.  According to the Mudville Gazette blog (don't you love that name?), the letter has appeared in 60 papers and counting.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is investigating this story.  How is it that the same letter supporting the President and his policies is published in so many papers?  I don't know about you, but I've sent letters to the editor before, and  it's not that easy to have them published.  Even in smaller local papers.  And if they do get published, the final version usually bears a faint resemblance to the original after they get done editing it down to size.  Odd, isn't it, that all of these papers printed the same letter verbatim

Hopefully, the investigation will continue and we'll find out the true source of this letter.  Until then, it's one more indication that the media, both local and national, is an undiscerning mouthpiece for a political agenda.

Celebrity Cruises Driven by Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Bill Donohue of the Catholic League issued a news release showing how Celebrity Cruises, in its recent statement, has disclosed that bigotry is at the root of its decision to ban Catholic Masses from its cruises.  According to Donohue, Celebrity spokeswoman Liz Jakeway states that it was the negative feedback of "guests" complaining about the Catholic Mass and their desire to "level the playing field" that led to the cancellation.  So pandering to these bigots is the basis of Celebrity's decision.  Why does the Mass have to be banned?  If they want a level playing field, why not just allow other religions space to hold their services?  Could you imagine what the uproar would be if someone complained about a prayer room afforded to Muslims?  The complainant would be seen as a bigot.  Why isn't it the same situation here?  Why are the Catholics being punished?  Why is the practice of the Catholic faith found to be offensive to other guests?  Again, please email captainsclub@celebrity.com and lend your voice to those who object to this anti-Catholic decision.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Ultrasound Generation

As Jen noted in a comment below, the pro-life movement is being supported by the technology of ultrasound.  In the current issue of The Weekly Standard, David Daleiden and Jon A. Shields write an article entitled Mugged by Ultrasound.  In sum, many of the conversions from pro-abortion to pro-life are being aided and abetted by ultrasound imagery.  Going back as far as Bernard Nathanson, a founding father of the abortion business, images of the unborn child undergoing the trauma of death and dismemberment is turning people toward life. 

Since the 1970s, second trimester abortions are primarily performed by using the D&E (dilation and extraction) procedure.  Because this procedure involves dismembering the unborn child and because the entire process can be viewed on ultrasound imagery, it is hard to avoid the truth that a living human being is being killed.

So, what is the response of the pro-aborts?  Regulate the crisis pregnancy centers that are using ultrasound to convince women to keep their children.  On Raymond Arroyo's "The World Over" show last Friday night, Peggy Harshorn, the president of Heartbeat International, a network of crisis pregnancy centers spoke to this issue.  She said that the centers are defending themselves from an onslaught of legislation and proposed legislation to limit the use of ultrasound by these centers.   Congress was considering passing restrictions on the use of this technology, but got sidetracked by the health care legislation.  Local and city governments, however, including Baltimore are passing restrictive laws.

It is another example of the perverse minds involved in the abortion world.  Under the guise of protecting women, they are doing everything in their power to keep women from knowing the truth of their situation.  But, after seeing the thousands of youthful faces at the March for Life, I can't help but believe that the era of this duplicity is coming to an end.  These kids know that their lives were on the line and they may not see protecting "reproductive freedom" as a reasonable rationale for killing babies.

March for Life West Coast

It seems that the West Coast March is picking up steam.  And, in typical west coast fashion, they have an interesting (and encouraging) mix of participants.  I have to say that didn't see any goths for life in D.C.!





Estimates of the crowd were in excess of 40,000.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Woo Hoo!! Supreme Court Willing to Overturn Precedent


Just when you thought the Scott Brown election was the top pro-life event of the past week, there is even better news.  According to Politico, pro-aborts are quaking in their boots after Thursday's decision by the Supreme Court to overturn a 100 year old ban on corporate political contributions.
“It is worrisome beyond the direct impact of yesterday’s ruling on election law,” said, Jessica Arons, the director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress. It’s certainly cause for concern.”
 
As Politico reports:

Critics said the court’s 5-4 ruling in the Citizens United case Thursday declared unconstitutional a law which has been in place since 1907 barring corporations from involvement in federal elections. Just six years ago, the Supreme Court called the longstanding ban “firmly embedded in our law.” Now, it’s gone.  Abortion rights advocates said the willingness of the court’s majority to toss aside precedent undercut Chief Justice John Roberts’s assurances at his confirmation hearings in 2005 that he would tread lightly when it came to rulings like Roe v. Wade.

Newsweek: Get a Clue

The day of the March for Life, Newsweek blog writer, Krista Gesaman, wrote a post entitled, "Who's Missing at the 'Roe v. Wade' Anniversary Demonstrations?  Young Women."  This is what I mean by the left "whistling past the graveyard."  They really are afraid of the truth.  Why?  Because the truth shows that the country is turning pro life.  The recent survey that showed the majority of Americans calling themselves pro-life has got to be scaring the wits out of the pro-abort crowd.  If Ms. Gesaman had bothered to actually take a look at the March for Life, instead of reporting on it before it took place, she would have seen young faces, male and female, predominating.   Unfortunately, you couldn't find any news on the event unless you actually went searching for it.  EWTN, of course, broadcast the entire rally and the march.  I saw a FoxNews truck there, so I assume they were doing some reporting   But where was the rest of the media?  With their heads in the sand, as usual, when it comes to a news event that doesn't fit their agenda.  You may want to add your comment at Ms. Gesaman's blog to give her an update on where things are heading.

Non Nobis Prayer

Patrick Archbold at the Creative Minority Report  has asked Catholic bloggers to post the following Non Nobis prayer in thanksgiving for the turn of events in the United States Senate.  Up until right before the Massachusetts election, pro-lifers were faced with the likelihood that the country would have "health care" legislation that would pump millions of dollars into abortion and euthanasia programs.  But, miraculously, the tide turned swiftly before our eyes and the Senate lost its filibuster-proof majority with head snapping speed.   Thanks be to God we have gained a foothold again.  Time for us to re-group and continue pushing forward in the cause of life.

Non nobis, non nobis, Domine
Sed nomini tuo da gloriam.

Not to us, not to us, o Lord,
But to your name give glory.

 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God, and not to us. (2 COR 3:1-3) 

The Future of the Pro Life Movement

Just got home from the March for Life, so I'm a little tired.  But, I wanted to post at least one photo, which I think sums up the direction of the pro-life movement; Youth!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pro Life Win in Massachusetts

This YouTube video has been blazing around the internet, so I thought I'd share it here.  Scott Brown, the winner of the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts has created quite a stir.  Especially since it seems that he will be able to put a stumbling block in front of passage of the health care legislation.  This is good news for those of us who want abortion and denial of services to the elderly to be eliminated from the bill.  A pro-life governor in New Jersey and a pro-life Senator from Massachusetts can only boost the moral of those participating in the March for Life on Friday.


So, here's to Senator Brown:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

NJ Governor Kicks off Inauguration Day with Celebration of Mass


How refreshing, a Catholic politician beginning his new life in office with the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!  Newly elected governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, started off his inauguration day with Mass at the Sacred Heart Cathedral in Newark.  Archbishop John Myers prayed that Governor Christie would be filled with the wisdom of Solomon.  He will also need the gift of fortitude to deal with the financial and social issues facing him in that state.  However, finally, we have a Catholic politician who clearly and forthrightly declared that he was opposed to abortion.  Unfortunately, there is still some work to do with the lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, a Catholic who has stated her support for abortion rights.  And, hopefully, the Newark Star Ledger got it wrong when it printed that Donald Trump was seen heading up the aisle to receive Holy Communion.  Archbishop Myers, call your office.

Send Your Avatar to the March for Life


Can't make it to Washington this Friday for the March for Life?  Well, go to the Virtual March for Life website and send your avatar to the march instead.  Right now there are over 28,000 virtual marchers, let's get that number up!  Hope to see you there.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pro-Life Tuesday

Building on 7 Quick Takes Friday, I'm going to try to do a Tuesday post with some Pro-Life Quick Takes from the past week.




-1-

Fetal cells used in Swiss face cream!  (OK, so this isn't from the past week, but since this is my first Pro-Life Tuesday I have a lot of catching up to do).  Back in November, the Swiss company Neocutis was found to use the skin tissue of a 14-week old fetus that was electively aborted in the manufacture of several of its face creams.  The company defends its use of the fetal tissue by saying that it wasn't involved with the abortion and that the abortion was done "morally and legally."  Oh, well that makes it all o.k.!!  And, the company says that fetal tissue can produce bandages that will help patients suffering severe wounds.  We'll have to do another post on the teaching of the Church that the end doesn't justify immoral means.  And, the thought of using face cream made from aborted babies is just beyond comprehension.

-2-

Planned Parenthood is sending condoms and birth control to Haiti.  Just when you think the anti human life forces can't get any more bizarre, LifeNews reports that Planned Parenthood (or Planned Barrenhood, as it's known in the pro-life world) is soliciting donations for its local Haitian organization in order to hand out...food? water? medicine?...No, they are giving out contraceptives.  This is the same organization that offered one month of free birth control to women in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. 

-3-


Stop the Abortion Mandate is issuing a call to all participants in this year's March for Life, to make this year's march a statement on keeping abortion out of health care.  They are asking marchers to bring signs protesting abortion coverage in the health care legislation and to continue marching past the Supreme Court straight to their representatives' offices to lobby against abortion coverage.

-4-
PERSONHOOD is the theme of this year's March for Life.  The American Life League has been encouraging marchers to keep the personhood movement at the forefront of the march.  Simply put, the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects "persons" from the wrongful deprivation of life.  In fact, Justice Blackmun in the Roe v. Wade decision stated that the right to an abortion would not have been granted if the fetus had been shown to be a "person."

-5-
Protesters gathered outside the soon to be opened Planned Parenthood "super center" in Houston, Texas.  The  story building is set down right at the intersection of poor black and hispanic neighborhoods.  On this day honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King, we raise our voice in protest over the genocide that is taking place in poor communities.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, one out of every three black pregnancies ends in abortion.   Dr. King's niece, Alveda King, calls abortion and racism the evil twins.  As we've reported before, Planned Parenthood had its start in the Eugenics movement, where the goal was to create an ideal society that would weed out the minorities, the disabled and those deemed "unfit" for life.
-6-

And, the most telling statement related to abortion in the past week was Martha Coakley, Democrat candidate for Senate in Massachusetts, telling a radio interviewer that rather than requiring the government to respect the consciences of health care workers, Catholics should probably not be working in emergency rooms.  This comment was based on the premise that a conscience clause in the health care legislation would allow Catholics to refuse to participate in the distribution of abortifacients or contraceptives.

And that, my friends is a quick review of pro-life issues from the past week.  Hopefully, next week I'll be able to share some highlights from the March for Life.  Keep up the good fight!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Just Because It's Sunday

A cute animal picture to brighten up this rainy day,  Awwww.  (thanks to Faith & Family Live and  Design Inspiration).



Catholic League: Celebrity Cruises Stiffs Catholics

Bill Donoghue, President of the Catholic League has posted  a news alert about Celebrity cruise lines on the League's website.    Celebrity  has decided to terminate Catholic Mass being offered on their  ships.  The reason?  Somebody complained!  Oh, boo hoo.  What is this world coming too when someone is offended by somebody else practicing their religion?  We've become the biggest society of whiners.  Why can't we just be happy for other people and respect their beliefs?

So, instead of telling the complainer to get over it, Celebrity has decided to eliminate the celebration of Mass (no pun intended).  I say, let us Catholics find another cruise line that is not so quick to throw Catholics overboard (pun intended).  If you wish to complain, the email address for Celebrity is: captainsclub@celebritycruises.com.   Please write and let them know what a dumb decision they made.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

American Idol: Young Pro-Life Singer Makes the Cut!

What a powerful witness.  Maddy Curtis, a poised sixteen year old with a beautiful voice, has made the first cut for the American Idol auditions.  Maddy is child number 9 out of the 12 children of  Tripp and Barbara Curtis.  Maddy's older brother, Jonathan, was born with Down Syndrome.  In order to give him some companionship, her parents adopted another child with Down Syndrome.  This led to another adoption and yet another.  As Maddy puts it, her four brothers "see the world in colors" and we need to see it that way."

Listen to Maddy's encouraging testimony (how did this get on network tv?) and her beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."  (h/t Catholic Exchange)

Friday, January 15, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday


 
Taking the lead from Jen at ConversionDiary.com, I'm going to try a "7 Quick Takes Friday."  Sort of a week in review of, hopefully, salient and relevant reflections.  A "look back" so to speak of the week that has passed.

1.  Of course, Haiti is the big marker for  this week.  Catholic Relief Services is involved with a project called  "Fast for Haiti"  What if thousands of people decided to fast from one or two or three meals and donate the money they saved to Haitian relief?


2.  The whole concept of sacrifice and fasting has been on my mind a lot this week.  Especially since I just watched the film, "The 13th Day" about the apparitions at Fatima.  The primary exhortation in those appearances was prayer and sacrifice.  I really need to work on the sacrifice part.  Come to think of it, I need to work on the prayer part, too.

3.   Back to sacrifice. ..I listened to a beautiful talk by Imaculee Ilibagiza of Rwanda.  In the apparitions in Rwanda, the Blessed Mother did not ask the people to fast.  Why?  Because they barely had enough food to survive on  in the first place.  Even with those dire circumstances, she still asked them for other sacrifices or mortifications.  Wow!  I think giving up cookies is a mortification.  Lots of work needed here.

4.  Made final arrangements for hotel accommodations for the March for Life.  Looking forward to it.  Perhaps a mortification will be involved.  (freezing cold weather?,  or perhaps, keeping my mouth shut while driving).

5.  Still working on putting all of the Christmas decorations away.  It's like saying good bye to old friends.  OK, I know, a little weird.  But the nativity scene is still out and I feel a certain peace every time I walk by.  Thanks to Dad, I now have an ox to complete my manger.

6.  Shopping today with a really good friend.  Lots of laughs, lots of reflection on our blessings, and lost of thanksgiving to God for all of the goodness he showers us with.

7.  And, finally, it's back to Haiti, Haiti, Haiti..... God help those poor people.  And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord.

Senate Candidate: Catholics Should Not Work in Emergency Rooms (!?)

Martha Coakley, who is running for Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts, was interviewed the other day on conscience provisions for health care workers.  When the interviewer stated that "...in the emergency room you still have your religious freedom," Coakley responded, "You can have religious freedom, but maybe you shouldn't work in an emergency room." (h/t NROnline).



This is what we're facing, folks.  The Liberals are working to strip away our conscience protection rights.  If things keep going in this direction, Catholics will be prohibited from participating in the medical profession completely.  Ironic, isn't it?  Especially since the Church built up the hospital system and care for the sick almost single handedly.  And, for what reason?   It all comes down to the "sacrament" of abortion.   In our sick society, the new definition of health care must now include the  ability to terminate life.  Heaven help us.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti is the Broken Bloody Body of Christ

A beautiful and passionate piece by Archbishop Dolan on the tragedy in Haiti.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pray for the Seminarians

The Catholic News Agency is reporting that the papal nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Auza, said earlier today that the seminary has been destroyed.  The nuncio returned to his home to find, "...Priests and Sisters in the street , no longer with homes.  The rector of the seminary saved himself, as did the dean of studies, but the seminarians are under the rubble.  You hear yells everywhere from underneath the rubble."





One commenter over at The Anchoress had the provident idea to implore the intercession of Venerable Pierre Toussaint, a former slave from Haiti, whose cause for canonization is underway.

Eternal Rest Grant Unto Them, O Lord

The Catholic cathedral in Port Au Prince Haiti, before yesterday's earthquake:


The cathedral today:


The Vatican reports that the Archbishop of Port au Prince and hundreds.... that's right, hundreds...of priests and seminarians are dead.  God help these poor people.

If you are able, please donate to a worthy charity such as Food for the Poor or Catholic Relief Services to help.  And pray for the repose of the souls of those who were lost and for those who survived this awful. awful disaster.  The Haitian people have suffered so much, already. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Please Come to D.C. - For the Babies!

A week from this Friday, on January 22nd, is the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.  Hopefully, pro-lifers will be crowding the Mall in front of the Capitol building.  If you can't be there in person, please join in prayer.

The following video was hosted on the website of liveaction.org.  This group is headed by "Lila Rose", the young woman who "outed" Planned Parenthood's racist and sexist policies.  Definitely visit the group's site and read about her exposing the complicity of abortion mills in covering up statutory rape.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Baptism Of The Lord: Day-by-Day-by-Day-by-Day.

The sacrament of Baptism is received only once, when the water is poured over our heads during the Baptism Ritual.

The lasting significance of the Sacrament of Baptism is our entrance into a new life -- a life of faith in Jesus Christ -- a life that God intends for us to develop and to mature into eternal life.

Living our Baptismal Vows is a repeat performance, a day-by-day consigning of our lives to Our Lord Jesus Christ. A day-by-day self-offering, until we go to encounter the Lord face-to-face, to offer Him the persons we have made of ourselves.

You know, at the beginning of Catholic Funerals, there is a solemn reminder of the identity and dignity we receive in our Baptism – a reminder of the honor of having God's Son dwell within us through Baptism, a solemn reminder of the honor of having had the Holy Spirit live and breathe within our every breath and movement.

As the Funeral begins, a very long white cloth -- called a Pall -- is unfurled over the casket containing the deceased Christian's body. The Pall is a symbolic remind­er of an infant’s little white Baptismal garment and an adult’s R.C.I.A. neophyte robe.
A tiny white garment was draped upon us when we were babies, when we were being Bap­tized. After we die to this world, during our Funeral Mass, our body will be draped symbol­ically with the Pall, because on the day of our Baptism we were clothed with Christ; in the Day of Christ's Second Coming, we hope to be clothed with Christ's glory.

The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus -- like our own Baptisms -- was a public vow. For Our Lord Jesus, His Baptism was His avowed declaration -- identifying Himself as The Savior who came into our world to proclaim God's Kingdom to us all, offering redemption and salvation to us all.

Our Baptism was our public vows to do more than the minimum for God's Kingdom;
Our public vows to accept the responsi­bility to become more and more Christ-Like;
Our public vows to remain holy, to put others first and ourselves last, to be identified as Christ's sister, Christ's brother.

Suppose that we, as grown-ups, try to wear the tiny robe placed upon us as infants. We'd look ridiculous if we walked around wearing that tiny white robe!
Yet, in the realm of our spiritual lives, we really are wearing a robe: an invisible white robe: a spiritual robe -- that starts out tiny, just right for a cute little baby. But, that spiritual robe must widen and lengthen and grow to match our age and physical maturity as fully committed, fully adult, fully responsible Christians!

If the spiritual robe of your Baptismal dignity is stained, or tattered, and in need of some alterations so it will fit you better, then you and I have something in common: Our need for the Feast of the Baptism Of The Lord!

We need the Feast of The Baptism of The Lord in order to renew our promises to God,
to the members of our local parish commu­nity, and to the entire worldwide community of the Church.We renew our commitment to work hard to fully live the Catholic Faith we have been Baptized and Confirmed into.
  • We renew our resolution to pray constant­ly, and to confess our sins frequently. 
  • We renew our deep love and reverence for Christ­'s Body and Blood in the Holy Eucha­rist, and our love for all seven of the Church's Sacraments.
  • We renew our single-mindedness at doing any­thing necessary and every­thing possible to renounce our selfish­ness and sins, so as to live as God's children, not Satan's children.
The lasting, lifelong significance of being Baptized is this:
We have entered into a new life -- a publicly identifiable life of faith in Jesus Christ -- a life that is intended to grow and to mature into everlasting life.

Living our Baptismal Vows is a day-by-day consigning of our lives to our Lord Jesus Christ. Day-by-day-by-day-by-day: until we go to stand before the Lord face-to-face.

When we arrive at that encounter, you and I will be wearing the spiritual robes we have woven from living out our Chris­tian identities.

Let's not show up under-dressed, or with the stains of sins, or wearing a robe that is way too small to fit us properly!

May the New Year ahead reveal us as faithful and zealous in our responsibility for living in the fashion that Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Church have taught us.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

He Has Numbered Every Hair on Your Head

In order to make up from my previous "cranky" post, I wanted to let you in on this beautiful website entitled Snowcrystals.com .  It's hosted by Kenneth Libbrecht,  a professor at CalTech who has taken the most beautiful pictures of snowflakes.  In addition to the photographs, Professor Libbrecht provides scientific analysis of snowflakes and answers questions such as, "Why is snow white?" 

All in all, pondering the beauty and uniqueness of each snowflake, makes one think of the love and devotion of the Creator who molded each of us individually.  How much does he care for us, when he has taken the time to make beautiful snowflakes that can disappear in seconds.  And, yes, professor Libbrecht answers the question, "Are no two snowflakes alike?"  You'll have to check in with him for the answer.

No Gum Chewing in Church!


A Filipino bishop has issued guidelines to his people and priests asking that certain courtesies be observed in church.  First, he asks the people to refrain from chewing gum and using cellphones.  While this may seem to be common sense, I know that I have seen people going up to receive Holy Communion while chewing gum.  I don't even want to think about how they manage that.

Once, a woman who was sitting behind me at Mass called a friend on her cell phone, asking her to move to the front of the church to sit with her.  There is no lack of selfish behavior in our society and it can't help but wash over into the celebration of the liturgy.  As often as possible, I try to attend the earliest Mass with the least distractions.  This doesn't always work, and I try to remember my own shortcomings instead of getting annoyed by those around me, but this doesn't always work, either.




Another guideline issued by the Bishop Villegas of the Phillipines was that choirs and musicians should view music as a means to unite the congregation in song and not as a performance.  I remember reading about an incident that happened with Placido Domingo, the famed tenor, in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York.  Maestro Domingo was to sing the Panis Angelicus.  Prior to the Mass he was asked to sing at the lectern by the altar.  He responded that, no, he would sing from the choir loft.  This was his prayer, not his performance.  Bravo!

I have to cut myself off soon, or else this post is going to turn into a list of my pet liturgical peeves (if it hasn't already).  But, I find it very distracting when a lector or a "leader of song" waves their arms about to indicate when the people should chime in.  Normally, an appropriate pause or introduction is clear enough for the congregation to know their turn.  The arm waving becomes very distracting.

And, finally, Bishop Villegas asks his priests to keep the altar linens clean, the sacred vessels polished and the overall beauty and cleanliness of the church maintained.  'Nuff said!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Medjugorje - Are We Too Sophisticated for God?


I never realized how controversial the alleged apparitions in the little village of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina were until recently.  It seems that anytime I read a blog post about these purported visions of Our Lady, many of the commenters go all frothing at the mouth in their condemnation of anyone who has a somewhat favorable opinion of the situation.  In fact, some of the comments on a recent Creative Minority Report blog post went so far as to slander the character of Cardinal Schonborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, who had the "audacity" to pay a visit to the village, celebrate Mass and make some public statements that were supportive of the visions.

While I, personally, had a life changing experience through the events at Medjugorje, I await the final decision of Holy Mother Church on their authenticity.  What I don't understand is why others are so charged up about knocking down the simple messages on prayer, fasting, church attendance and confession.  It makes me wonder how these same people would have reacted to the apparitions at Lourdes and Fatima.  Or, even the Resurrection, for that matter.  Are we that "sophisticated" that we can't believe that God the Father would permit Our Lady to reach out to us in our time?

I've often told others who are skeptical about Medjugorje, that I would not have chosen this means for my own reversion to the faith.  It is a bit humiliating.  A bit embarrassing.  I would have preferred a more intellectual, modern and cerebral conversion.  It certainly would have been easier to explain to others.  But. no, God had his own ideas and I am forever grateful that he loved me enough to break through my pride.  So now I am forced to attribute my "turnaround" in the faith to some messages that were received by young, unsophisticated village children who were neither spectacularly devout nor exceptionally gifted or known for their oratorical skills.  And I am trying hard to understand the venom in those who would not wait for the judgment of the Church and are so fearful of God breaking through to our modern age in a very ancient way.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Wassailing In a Winter Wonderland (You Go, Sisters!)



Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.


Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Don't Fall Asleep During "The Academy's" posts!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Hey, Mister Academician! Why not take a moment and visit their website?